How to Play Pickleball | with 5 steps and how to improve

Pickleball has become increasingly popular in recent years, attracting players of all ages and skill levels. It's a combination of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, and it's easy to learn, making it a great activity for beginners. 

Here are some more in-depth steps on how to play pickleball and improve your game.

How to play pickleball 

Steps on how to play pickleball 

Step 1: The Serve

The game starts with an underhand serve from behind the baseline, similar to tennis. The server must serve the ball diagonally, starting from the right-hand side of the court if they're serving from the right-hand side, and vice versa. The ball must land in the service court on the other side of the net and must clear the non-volley zone. If the serve is good, the receiving team must return the ball before it bounces twice.

Step 2: Double Bounce Rule

After the serve, the ball must bounce once on each side of the net before players can volley it. This rule is known as the double bounce rule. The server must hit the ball in such a way that it bounces once in the receiving team's court before they can return it. After that, both teams can volley the ball until the point ends. Volleying is hitting the ball in the air before it bounces on the ground. It's an essential skill in Pickleball and can help you win points.

Step 3: The Non-Volley Zone

Players cannot hit the ball out of the air while standing in the non-volley zone or "kitchen," an area on each side of the net. The kitchen is a seven-foot area on both sides of the net where players are not allowed to hit the ball in the air. If a player hits the ball in the air while standing in the non-volley zone, they commit a fault, and their opponents get the point.

Step 4: Scoring and Faults

Players score points when the other team messes up, such as committing a fault by hitting the ball out of bounds, failing to clear the net, or committing a non-volley zone violation. Only the serving team can score a point. Pickleball is played up to 11 points, and the winner must win by two points. The first team to reach 11 points, with a two-point lead, wins the game.

Step 5: Switching Sides and Let Serves

After every odd-numbered point, players switch sides of the court. This rule ensures that players face the sun, wind, and other weather conditions equally. If the ball hits the net on a serve and lands in the service court, it's called a let serve. The serve is replayed without counting as a fault, and the receiving team must return the ball.

How to Improve Your Pickleball Game

Now that you know the basic rules of Pickleball, it's time to improve your game. Here are some tips to help you become a better player:

1. Practice Your Serve

The serve is the starting shot of every point, and it's essential to master it. Practice serving from different spots on the court and with different spins to keep your opponent guessing.

2. Learn to Volley

Volleying is an essential skill in Pickleball, and it's essential to master it. Practice hitting the ball in the air before it bounces on the ground and learn how to place your shots strategically.

3. Move Your Feet

Pickleball is a game of movement, and it's essential to be quick on your feet. Practice moving forward, backward, and side-to-side to get into position for the ball.

4. Communicate with Your Partner

If you're playing doubles, communication with your partner is key. Work out a strategy before the game and communicate during the game to ensure you're both on the same page. Let your partner know where you're going to hit the ball, so they can anticipate it and get into position.

5. Watch Your Opponent

Observing your opponent's movements and patterns can give you an advantage during the game. Try to predict their shots and adjust your positioning accordingly.

6. Play Consistently

Consistency is key in Pickleball. Avoid making too many unforced errors, and try to keep the ball in play as much as possible. It's better to play a safe shot and keep the rally going than to take a risk and hit the ball out of bounds.

7. Stay Positive

Pickleball is a fun and social game, so try to stay positive and enjoy yourself. Don't get too hung up on mistakes or losses, and focus on having a good time with your friends and fellow players.


Pickleball is a fun and accessible sport that's easy to learn but challenging to master. By following these five steps and practicing regularly, you can improve your game and have a great time playing with friends and family. Remember to stay positive, communicate with your partner, and have fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 basic rules of pickleball?

The 5 basic rules of Pickleball are: 1. starting each round with an underhand serve, 2. letting the ball bounce once on each side after it's served, 3. avoiding hitting the ball out of the air while standing in the non-volley zone or "kitchen," 4. scoring points when the other team commits a fault, and 5. traditionally playing to 11 points with a lead of 2 or more to win.

How is pickleball different from tennis?

Pickleball is different from tennis in several ways. The court is smaller, and the net is lower, making it easier for beginners to play. The ball used in pickleball is also lighter and slower than a tennis ball, which can be helpful for players with less experience. Additionally, pickleball has its own unique set of rules, including restrictions on where players can stand when hitting the ball and when they can hit the ball out of the air. Overall, while there are some similarities between the two sports, pickleball offers a distinct and enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels.

Is pickleball easier than tennis?

Yes, pickleball is generally considered to be easier than tennis, as it requires less physical endurance, has a smaller court, and uses a lighter ball. Additionally, pickleball has simpler rules and a shorter learning curve, making it more accessible for beginners and people of all ages and skill levels. However, both sports have their own unique challenges and can be enjoyed by players of all abilities.

What age group plays pickleball the most?

Pickleball is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but it's particularly popular among older adults. According to recent studies, the majority of pickleball players are over the age of 55. That being said, there are plenty of younger players who enjoy the game as well, and it's becoming increasingly popular among high school and college students. Ultimately, anyone can play pickleball regardless of age or skill level, and it's a great way to stay active and have fun.

What are 5 common mistakes that a beginner pickleball players often make?

As with any sport, beginners in Pickleball are bound to make a few mistakes as they learn the ins and outs of the game. Here are five common errors that many novice players tend to make:

1. Overhitting the Ball

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is hitting the ball too hard. Overhitting can result in the ball flying out of bounds or hitting the net, costing you points and making it difficult to keep the rally going.

2. Not Staying in Position

Another mistake that beginners often make is not maintaining the proper position on the court. It's essential to stay in the right spot and anticipate where the ball is going to come from. If you're out of position, you may miss a shot or struggle to return the ball.

4. Standing in the Non-Volley Zone

The non-volley zone, also known as the "kitchen," is a designated area on the court where players are not allowed to hit the ball out of the air. Many beginners make the mistake of standing in this area, which can result in a fault and a loss of points.

5. Failing to Communicate with Their Partner

Pickleball is a doubles game, so communication with your partner is key. Beginners may forget to communicate with their partner, leading to confusion and missed shots.

6. Not Practicing Enough

Finally, many beginners don't practice enough, which can hinder their progress. Like any sport, Pickleball requires practice to improve your skills and become more confident on the court. By practicing regularly, you'll be able to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again and get better with each game.

Is pickleball bigger than tennis?

As of now, tennis is still a more popular sport than pickleball, but pickleball is gaining popularity quickly. Tennis has a long and established history with a large fan base and professional tournaments that draw big crowds. However, pickleball has been growing in popularity in recent years, especially among older adults and those who are looking for a more accessible and social sport.

Pickleball is a relatively new sport that was invented in 1965 and has been gaining popularity in North America and Europe ever since. It's a combination of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, and can be played both indoors and outdoors.

While pickleball is not yet as big as tennis, it has been growing at an impressive rate. In fact, it's one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with more than 3.5 million players in the United States alone. It's also gaining traction internationally, with growing popularity in countries like Canada, Mexico, and Spain.

The popularity of pickleball is also evident in the increasing number of professional and amateur tournaments being held around the world. These tournaments offer players the chance to compete at a high level and showcase their skills to a wider audience.

In conclusion, while tennis is still a more popular sport than pickleball, pickleball is rapidly gaining popularity, and its fan base is growing quickly. It's an exciting and accessible sport that's easy to learn but challenging to master, making it an appealing option for people of all ages and skill levels.

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